UEFA Champions League

Manchester United-Chelsea Preview

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still trying to strike a balance between defence and attack in the biggest matches as Manchester United head to Chelsea.

United have been much improved this season to enter the title race, albeit now sitting 10 points off the pace.

While there have been costly home defeats, the chief issue for Solskjaer's side has been the struggles against their 'big six' rivals, too often failing to turn draws into wins.

United's defence has let them down at times, too, and Solskjaer is keen to see them turn the corner to maintain their outside title hopes.

"We know we've scored quite a few goals; of course, we need to be a better team defensively," he said.

"We've conceded too many goals, so we need to improve on that, definitely.

"And win tighter games: we've had many games against, you know, City, Chelsea, nil-nil, Liverpool nil-nil, so get the goals in those games.

"We just have to focus and tick one game off at a time. The (next) three games are massive.

"We've got Chelsea just behind us, City a way in front of us, and we can't let them run further away if we have ambitions of catching them and we can't give Chelsea too much hope of catching us, either."

Solskjaer described facing Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea as "a great challenge."

The Blues boss, also appreciating the importance of this game, said: "If we get a win out of this game, it will be huge for us.

"If they can get a win, it will be huge for them to put a difference between us, to increase the difference."

Chelsea - Mason Mount

Mount will hope to finally get up and running at Stamford Bridge this season on Sunday. He has scored two goals in his past three Premier League games, as many as in his previous 21 in the competition. However, all four of his league goals this season have come away from home.

Manchester United - David de Gea

Pressure is building on De Gea. After going without an error leading to a shot all season up to the start of February, he has had two this month - including an error leading to a goal in the draw with Everton. Last year, a poor display against Chelsea ended United's FA Cup run and the goalkeeper will aim to make amends.

- Chelsea were beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge by United last season in the Premier League; they have not lost consecutive home games against the Red Devils since October 1995.

- In all competitions, Manchester United have won their past three away games against Chelsea, winning in the FA Cup in February 2019, EFL Cup in October 2019 and Premier League in February 2020. They have never won four in a row away against Chelsea.

- Chelsea have failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games against United, attempting 41 shots without success across these games. The last time they failed to score in four consecutive top-flight matches against an opponent was in April 1960 against Bolton Wanderers.

- United are unbeaten in 19 Premier League away games (W13 D6), a run that began with a 2-0 win at Chelsea in February 2020. This is the Red Devils' longest unbeaten away run in their top-flight history; their previous longest of 17 between December 1998 and September 1999 ended with a 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge (Oct 1999).

- The away team has won all four of the previous managerial matches between Chelsea boss Tuchel and United's Solskjaer, all between the Red Devils and Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Solskjaer could become only the second manager to win three away games against Tuchel in all competitions, after Jurgen Klopp (four).

Updated February 26, 2021

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